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How To Cook Prime Rib Roast

December 7th, 2008

One of the questions that gets asked most often these days, especially as we move into the holiday season is how to cook a prime rib roast, or how long to cook a prime rib roast. When cooking prime rib, it is really a pretty simple thing to do, and the reality is that there are many many ways to roast prime rib.

There really are tons of right answers. So you can slow roast prime rib, or quick roast prime rib. You can also rotisserie prime rib. But for those of you who are getting started and want to really get something simple going, and look like a hero, there are some simple things you can do when learning to cook prime rib.

First of all, you should plan to have about 8 ounces of raw weight per person you are having over. The second thing you want to make sure you do is have the butcher or supermarket do most of the work.

Now, you can get a bone in rib, or a boneless rib. If you are new to this, get a boneless rib. Make sure you pick a rib that has a small eye of fat in the middle of the rib. Take a look at the side cut and look for the white areas in the cut. You want a rib that has nice white “marbeling” but not a big spot of white. When roasted, that will just be fat.

I recommend choosing USDA choice grade for your prime rib. Most supermarkets will offer this grade now. It is usually a bit more expensive, but much more worth it.

Ask the butcher to make the fat cap 1/4 in thick.

When you get home, all you need to do is prep and roast.

Pre heat your oven to 450 degrees.

Take your rib, and rub it liberally with salt and fresh cracked pepper. If you are feeling adventureous, you can rub it with cajun seasoning, or chopped rosemary and garlic. But salt and pepper will work just as well.

Place it with the fat side facing up onto a roasting pan. When the oven is at 450, place the rib in the oven.

Let it roast for 40 minutes, and then drop the temperature to 300 degrees. (Farenheight).

Let the roast cook in the oven until you reach an internal temperature of 120 degrees. Yes!!!!Buy a good meat thermometer. If you want good results. Make the purchase.

Once you reach 120, remove and let it rest for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

My estimation is that a 10 lbs rib will be done in somewhere around 1 hour. Once you check the temp at 40 minutes, you will be able to guage time. Keep in mind, that once the rib hits 100 degrees, it will take only 5-10 minutes to get close to being done. The cooking speeds up from there.

One thing I do often is rub the rib with dijon mustard. Yummy!

So that’s it. Easy simple roast prime rib of beef. What else you want to see on the Christmas menu?

Leave me a comment. Prime Rib Roast coming up!

Lastly make sure that what ever kitchen knife sets you use, they are sharp and ready to slice.

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Categories: Roasting, beef, prime rib

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  1. How To Cook Prime Rib Roast | The Food Wiz : How To Cook For Beginners

    [...] One of the questions that gets asked most often these days, especially as we move into the holiday season is how to cook a prime rib roast, or how long to cook . More [...]

  2. Rosie RIVERS

    We don’t like rare meat, My roast is 11.37wt/ct so what would be the cooking time for medium well? I don’t want it well done or over cook. please answer me back.
    thhnk you

  3. The Food Wiz

    Hi Rosie,

    I would recommend that you take the internal temp to 130 then instead of the 120. That should get you mostly cooked with light pink inside.

    Don’t forget to let it rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

    BTW-if you are serving it for a large group of people, you may want to still roast until 120 like I suggest, and for those that like their meat more on the done side, reserve slices further toward the ends of the rib. The nearer you are to the end cuts, the more done the meat will be, and you will have more medium to medium rare for other guests.

  4. Debra

    I’m serving 25 people boneless rib roast. 15 like it very rare and the rest like it med-rare to med. How many lbs. do I buy and how do I cook it”?

  5. The Food Wiz

    Hey Debra,

    You’re going to need more than one roast! What I would do it pick up 2 each 15 lb roasts. That gives you 1 lb per person to start with. With shrink loss from roasting, you should end up with about 12 oz per person. Which is plenty.

    Follow the instructions above, except take the very rare roast out of the oven at between 110-115 degrees. The normal rib take out at about 120 degrees.

    Now, don’t forget that you will have the most rare pieces in the center…

    So get a consensus of who wants what when you serve, and then carve for those that want more well cooked slices from the outside in.

    Hope you have a great meal!

  6. Lurline Donelson

    Thank you so ever much!

  7. Linda

    I have an 18lb roast for Christmas dinner. Most my guest will want thier meat med. On Estimate how long will it take to cook and when should I start checking the temp. This is my first Prime Rib Dinner and Im very nervous about it. We will either have the best dinner ever or hot dogs….lol

  8. kathleen young

    I’m making a prime rib for just the two of us (2lbs) and want to make Yorkshire Pudding. I like my beef medium…he likes it med-well. I’m using my mother’s recipe for Yorkshire Pudding and it takes 45 min. Can you please tell me how to get this all on the table to both of our likeing??

    Many thanks, and happy holidays


  9. The Food Wiz


    Follow the instructions above, and you should be fine. For a 18 lb roast, I would say it would take about 1 1/2 – 2 hours…assuming you do the 400 degress and drop to 300 after 40 minutes.

    MAKE SURE YOU BUY A GOOD MEAT THERMOMETER! That is really what is going to help. After the first 40 minutes, check the center of the rib. From there you can guage the cooking…

    And since your are new, I would check every 30 minutes after that.

    Once you get to 110 degrees, it will go quickly so check in 10-12 minutes.

    At 120 remove from the oven and let it rest. While it rests it will carry over cook for about 10 degrees.

    You should have a nice medium in the center.

    The ends will be more well done.

    Most importantly, relax and trust yourself. Follow this and you should be fine.

    Bon Apetit!

  10. The Food Wiz

    @ Kathleen

    a 2lb rib is rather small. For somthing like that, it will take too long to get color before the meat is cooked all the way through.

    I recommend searing the meat in a hot pan on the stove first to get it brown, then finish in the oven at 350 degrees. I still recommend cooking until 120-125 degrees. Serve your husband the end cuts, as they will be more well done. and you eat the center.

    As for timing the Yorkshire pudding, when the roast hits the internal temp of about 100, turn the heat up on the oven to what you need for the yorkshire pudding. Once the oven is at temp, start to bake the pudding. Remove the Roast when it is 120. Im guessing 10 minutes will have passed.

    You will have 30 minutes to finish the pudding, in which time, the roast can rest. Cover it lightly with foil and keep in a warm area.

    Once the puddings are done, you should be good.

    FYI-when you open the oven to take out the roast, do it quickly so you don’t lose the hot air from the oven while baking the pudding.

  11. Yoli Reed

    Hello, This year I am making a small 3.5 lb roast. How do you recommend cooking it so I can have medium rare and the other 2 people medium-well? I haven’t made a prime rib roast in a long time and previously made much larger roasts.
    Should I follow the 40 min on high temp. or use the pan sear method before transferring to the oven?
    Thanks for your help!

  12. Brenda

    Do you cover the pan when cooking the rib roast?

  13. The Food Wiz

    Hey Yoli,

    Hope you figured it out! Sorry, I was busy doing my own roast yesterday! I hope you did the sear method though. Something small like that would also need the help of the oven to get it going along.

  14. The Food Wiz


    Do not cover the pan. Covering the pan prevents the roast from getting any color. The only time I cover the pan is when there is going to be too much color and I am trying to manage it from further darkening.


  15. Sharon

    Do you cover the prime rib when cooking it in the oven?

  16. Joe

    I’m cooking a 5 lb roast with the bone. Do I increase the cooking time? The butcher is going to “chine” it – cut & tie the bone for me and season it. I would also like to sear it first. Suggestion?

  17. The Food Wiz

    @ Joe,

    I would not increase the time even though you are using the bone. You may need to roast it longer, as the bone will cause it to take a bit longer to come to temp though.

    Searing the roast will be fine. I would proceed with the roast in the same way that I have describe in the post, but just know that you may need a bit more time because of the bone.

    It will taste better with the bone in, and Im glad you are having the chine bone removed, or you’d have a heck of a time carving.

  18. Mike

    I’m going to roast a prime rib this evening renegade style. I’ve never roasted anything in the oven before but am planning to take a little piece of each comment i’ve read here and see how it turns out! It was a gift so I don’t know how heavy it is or anything but the fact that it’s a CAB standing rib roast. I’m going to rub it with a pineapple-mandarin-jerk rub I created. Wish me luck!

  19. Lexi

    I have between 50 and 100 guest attend my parent’s anniversary, how many boneless prime ribs will I have to purchase for their event?

  20. Lindsay

    I just bought a 5.10 lb prime rib roast…I was wondering for that size, how long I should cook it for, and at what temperature……Thank you

  21. Julie

    I have a 22lb prime rib that I need to cook for tomorrow (Christmas Eve) and I am wondering how long and at what temperature so i cook it at? Thank you, Merry Christmas

  22. The Food Wiz

    Hi Julie,

    Follow the recipe and you should be fine. Just remember to pull it out when the internal temperature is about 120 degress.

  23. Marian

    I have a 22 lb. choise rib roast, best cooking temp and duration??

  24. Joe

    I like my rib marinated at least overnight w/spices and herbs. A good garlic rub wont hurt either. Great site you have here bro.

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